Gophers surge forward to Super Regional

June 4, 2018
Gopher players celebrate with a trophy after beating UCLA in the Minneapolis Regional championship game.

The Golden Gopher baseball team overcame its first big NCAA tournament hurdle, winning the four-team Minneapolis Regional and advancing to next weekend’s Super Regional.

It will be Minnesota’s first appearance in the round of 16 in John Anderson’s 37 years as head coach, and its first time advancing through the regional round since 1977, when Anderson was a student assistant. The Gophers (44-13) beat Canisius 10-1 in their first game Friday night, then downed UCLA Saturday night (into Sunday morning) 3-2 in 10 innings. They sealed the regional title with another win over UCLA Sunday night, 13-8 in front of a Siebert Field–record crowd of 2,425.

“We felt like today was a big day to break out regardless of if our pitchers threw up another zero or if they gave up a few runs,” said Alex Boxwell, whose two-run homer in the bottom of the third put the Gophers up for good at 7-5. “We were prepared to come out, string together good at-bats, and put up some runs."

Minnesota, the No. 14 national seed, will now head to Corvallis, Oregon, for a best-of-three series against No. 3 Oregon State, with the winner advancing to the College World Series in Omaha. The series will be played either June 8-10 or June 9-11.